A new era has dawned at Spalding Academy where the focus is on boosting pupils’ performance at GCSE and across the school.
The former Sir John Gleed School is being brought “more into line with the tried and tested principles and practices” at Bourne Academy while keeping its “local differences and traditions”.
The school is now under the wing of South Lincolnshire Academies Trust (SLAT), which already runs Bourne Academy, and executive head teacher Laurence Reilly is calling on the community for its backing as Spalding Academy heads to the top of the form.
Mr Reilly said: “One of our immediate priorities is to close the attainment and achievement gap, starting in 2017, between our two schools.
“The percentage of students at Bourne Academy gaining five GCSE grades including English and Mathematics in 206 was 66 per cent, whereas at Sir John Gleed School it was 33 per cent.
“We are confident that we can improve student outcomes in both schools.”
Mr Reilly has promised to maintain and develop supportive links with parents and carers.
“In a nutshell, we simply want to enhance and celebrate the successes of all students attending Spalding Academy and I hope that the local community will support us in this aim,” he said.
As Spalding Academy sets out on its journey of improvement, Mr Reilly has once more moved to reassure parents about the school’s direction.
He said: “I understand that change is difficult, even when people think it is probably for the better; I can assure the Spalding Academy Community that any changes will be consistent with SLAT’s principles of having a broad-based curriculum, research based policies and practice in teaching, learning and assessment, but traditional standards in terms of uniform and behaviour.
“We will also maintain and develop supportive links with parents/carers.”
Earlier in the year SLAT spoke directly to parents.
Mr Reilly said: “In the summer we held two evenings to explain the rationale behind the changes to the parents of Spalding Academy, and were encouraged by their positive reaction to this new, local sponsorship of the school.
“We have also been delighted by the positive response to the new partnership from Spalding Academy students and staff.
“The students are wearing their new uniform with pride, which we were keen to achieve at no additional expense to parents.”
Mr Reilly said there had been a positive start to the new term at both SLAT academies.
As well as the move to bring Spalding in line “with the tried and tested principles and practices at Bourne”, there have been some physical changes at the Spalding site.
Mr Reilly said: “We are very close to securing the site with new perimeter fencing and an electronic gate system. The refurbished reception area, main corridor and new playground/yard arrangements have been well received by all.”
• SLAT officially took over the running of Spalding Academy on September 1.